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Civilian Blood Continues to Spill in Afghanistan

UN: August was second deadliest month for civilians

Common Dreams staff

An Afghan relative sits next to a wounded child in a hospital after a suicide attack in Kandahar in August 2012 (AFP/File, Jangir)

Civilians continue to pay a deadly price in Afghanistan, as the United Nations reports that the country just experienced its second deadliest month for civilians.

The UN's special representative in Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš, stated that in August 374 civilians were killed and 581 were injured, and added that "a greater number of civilian deaths and injuries occurred in July and August than in the same period last year."

“Even where there are not armed clashes, an insidious campaign of intimidation and targeted killings is claiming lives of Government officials, women’s rights activists, tribal elders and community leaders -- including those actively working for peace,” said Kubiš.

Kubiš noted that "Aerial attacks continue to be the main cause of civilian casualties" by "pro-Government forces."

Kubiš made the comments at the UN Security Council in New York on Thursday, days after a NATO airstrike killed at least 8 women in Afghanistan.

The civilian "collateral damage" reported this month appears little changed from what TomDispatch editor Tom Engelhardt pointed out two years ago:

[I]n almost nine years of futile and brutal war in Afghanistan and more than seven years of the same in Iraq, the U.S. has filled metaphorical tower upon tower with the exceedingly unmetaphorical bodies of civilian innocents, via air attacks, checkpoint shootings, night raids, artillery and missile fire, and in some cases, the direct act of murder.  Afghans and Iraqis have died in numbers impossible to count (though some have tried).

In addition to deaths and injuries, ongoing conflict has also caused mass displacement of civilians. Kubiš added that 4,000 individuals have been displaced eastern province of Kunar since April.

As this video report for Al Jazeera shows, children are often the part of the civilian casualties:

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